Oct. 22, 1997

A Psalm for Vineyards

by Nancy Willard


Today's Reading: "A Psalm for Vineyards" by Nancy Willard from SWIMMING LESSONS, published by Alfred A. Knopf.

Jean Paul Sartre declined the Nobel Prize for Literature on this day in 1964.

Today is the 35th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when President Kennedy went on television to demand the removal of Soviet missiles from Cuba.

Chester Carlson of Pittsford, New York designed the photocopier on this day in 1938. He tried selling his machine to IBM, RCA, Kodak, and others, but they saw no use for a gadget that made nothing but copies.

Pop artist Robert Rauschenberg was born in Port Arthur, Texas, in 1925.

Novelist Doris Lessing (CHILDREN OF VIOLENCE, THE GOLDEN NOTEBOOK) was born in Kermanshah, Iran, in 1919.

In 1918 the cities of Baltimore and Washington ran out of coffins during the "Spanish Influenza" epidemic that killed half a million Americans.

Geneticist George Beadle, who showed how genes control the basic chemistry of the living cell, was born in Wahoo, Nebraska, in 1903.

Painter N.C. Wyeth, famous for his illustrations of TREASURE ISLAND, KIDNAPPED, and ROBIN HOOD, was born in Needham, Massachusetts, in 1882.

Pianist Franz Liszt, who at the age of 22 emerged as the piano virtuoso of his generation, was born in Raiding, Hungary, in 1811.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




  • “Writers end up writing stories—or rather, stories' shadows—and they're grateful if they can, but it is not enough. Nothing the writer can do is ever enough” —Joy Williams
  • “I want to live other lives. I've never quite believed that one chance is all I get. Writing is my way of making other chances.” —Anne Tyler
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  • “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” —Thomas Mann
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